During this year's Philly Tech Week, several Hopeworks alumna were present and sat as panelists for Technical.ly’s “Introduced” event. “Entering the Tech Field: Diversity in the Workplace After the First Year” was the session former Hopeworks intern, Calou Lowe, and former trainee, Naomi Maldonado, discussed their experiences as they entered their current jobs.
Caloua who is now a digital marketing specialist at SEER Interactive talked about feeling like a an “imposter”. She felt like she wasn't good enough to hold her position and at first doubted her abilities and skills. Naomi, a business analyst at Comcast also talked about being in the tech industry as a woman of color and how her experiences has shaped her to become stronger and more resilient.
The panel also consisted of Caloua’s and Naomi’s managers at SEER and Comcast. Emily Meekins, a Sr People Operations Manager at SEER, and Preston Beckley, a Sales Operations Manager at Comcast. The pair also weighed in on what things employers and human resource managers can do to create workplaces that are more diverse and inclusive. One thing that Emily and Preston both agreed on was being honest and transparent with job seekers about the company's intentions of becoming more open to diversity.
Technical.ly Introduced was a day long event and featured a various sessions on topics like retaining talent, mental health, content marketing best practices as well as “demo” sessions in which new technology was introduced to the public and along with massages, calligraphy favors and many other exciting things.